The Challenge of Hiring Software Developers Amid a Major Skills Shortage

The IT skills shortage is real. For many brands, finding, training, and retaining the talent needed to keep up with rising demands is becoming a critical concern.

While temporary skills shortages are pretty routine in IT, companies are increasingly moving forward with digital transformation efforts that require organizations to deliver innovative solutions at speed and scale.

Many of those solutions require new skills that are both hard to find and hard to develop in-house–think data science, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity.

Because those skills are so high in-demand, US talent is quickly scooped up by the biggest companies–aka, those who can afford to pay a premium for in-house talent.

According to the World Economic Forum, AI, machine learning, and the new division of labor between human workers and intelligent machines stands to create 133M new jobs by 2022. However, due to rapid advances across these emerging technologies, the pool of available workers with the right set of skills likely won’t be big enough to meet demand.

With that in mind, it’s not exactly surprising that one of the top reasons that a company outsources software development is an understaffed in-house team.

Under staffing Can Cause Serious Damage

Temporary under staffing problems don’t typically cause lasting damage. However, long-term, severe under staffing can create significant problems that could potentially undermine your entire operation, in some instances, even for good.

Below, we’ll outline some of the signs of understaffing to watch out for to help you remain as productive as possible as you explore your software development staffing options.

Understaffing problems

High Turnover

A sharp increase in employee turnover while a company is expanding is a strong indication that it’s growing too rapidly. In this situation, employees feel overwhelmed by their duties, making them more likely to seek out other employment opportunities that are less stressful.

A high turnover rate can become a fatal problem for a software company if it continues unchecked since veteran employees must be replaced with new workers who are unfamiliar with the company’s operations.

New employees require onboarding, which can be particularly significant in IT. In addition to the computers, email accounts, and logins that all employees need, IT workers require access to specialized software. Then, when employees leave–whether voluntarily or not–IT needs to disable logins, close email accounts, and perform any other tasks that prevent former employees from entering the system.

Constant turnover can cause the IT department of a fast-growing company to become overwhelmed while performing routine tasks.

Rapid growth can also reduce employee morale when it causes them to take their work too seriously.

These companies often neglect small gestures such as recognizing employee achievements or allowing a casual dress day – practices that cost very little, but can go a long way toward maintaining employee morale during a difficult period.

The point is, when there’s a revolving door between HR and IT, companies should take it as a sign that it’s time to look toward an outsourcing company to help them address the software developer hiring challenge.

Outsourcing relieves the pressure of the in-house development team, leading to happier developers. In turn, the improved work environment can help attract top IT talent.

There’s No Clear Long-Term Strategy

Under staffing typically means that in-house developers will see a rapid increase in responsibilities, as a short-term solution to keeping pace with demand.

The problem is, when companies enter “survival mode,” they often lose sight of the big-picture–and as a result, abandon their long-term strategy for the organization.

Employees are typically willing to perform duties outside of the formal job description for a specified period of time.

However, they will tend to become unsure of their role within the organization if this situation continues indefinitely.

The need to fill IT vacancies quickly can also result in the creation of an entire department overnight, complete with supervisors.

An organization that suddenly has a lot of new faces in managerial roles is another indication that an organization’s engineering staff is unable to meet its needs.

A development team with adequate staffing should be able to answer questions about the company’s long-term plans for leveraging the cloud or making use of big data.

An understaffed IT department will also tend to push future planning aside so that it can perform routine tasks. However, this strategy will ultimately hinder an organization’s ability to remain competitive in the long run.

Customers Are Complaining About Poor Service

Every business experiences the occasional IT crisis. That said, struggling to meet basic user requirements shouldn’t be the default.

Lapses in service are common in understaffed organizations because employees are overworked and fail to pay attention to details.

The Houston Chronicle reported that customers of these companies tend to file more complaints about long hold times, a clear sign that the organization’s staff is spread too thin.

Frequent problems with potentially serious consequences send a strong signal that the IT department is unable to meet its organization’s core needs.

An increase in the time needed to install equipment or to resolve a lingering issue means that the IT department needs assistance.

Using an outsourcing provider to take on software engineering hiring can help the in-house staff focus on meeting existing requirements and tackling service issues before problems snowball out of control.

Taking on New Projects Isn’t Possible Without Hiring Software Developers

An understaffed company often relies on just a few providers for all of its services, instead of diversifying. This strategy allows an organization to grow more quickly since it doesn’t need to implement new business processes or contracts each time it starts a new project.

However, businesses can become vulnerable in the event of a sudden change in staffing requirements. Long-term projects tend to be particularly challenging for organizations using a monolithic outsourcing model. They may need to increase hiring for software engineers or other IT roles to work on a single project but can’t offer anything long-term for these workers.

That type of set-up puts both the outsourced workers and the organization’s internal IT team in an unfair position.

A software development outsourcing company can help organizations tackle software developer hiring challenges and can even provide the additional IT staff needed for the project while avoiding the pressure to retain these employees after the project is complete.

You’re Relying on a Steady Stream of Temp Workers

Relying on temporary workers as a long-term solution is another sure sign that your team is chronically understaffed.

Often you’ll see companies using temp workers to address high turnover, as well as the collateral damage caused by the resulting hit to employee morale, though in some cases, it could indicate that the organization is growing too fast and can’t keep up with hiring demands.

Temporary workers are common in IT departments today since full-time staff members are frequently difficult to hire and retain. This general rule is especially true for positions requiring specific expertise, such as system analysts, developers, and security specialists.

How Nearshoring Helps Solve Software Developer Hiring Challenges

Working with an outsourcing firm is one of the best solutions for hiring software developers with the right skills and experience to help you achieve critical business objectives. For companies dealing with the issue of under staffing, working with a nearshore vendor tends to be the best choice, as it allows internal and external teams to work together as a cohesive unit.

One of the primary advantages of nearshoring is the similarity in time zones, which means that developers and managers generally have the same business hours. Nearshore software development also means that developers tend to have languages and cultures that are closer to those of the client than offshore firms located on the other side of the globe.

Tiempo’s nearshore business model is designed to connect clients with the experts best-suited to help them hit critical objectives. Our developers specialize in the Agile development methodology and integrate easily with your internal team.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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